Balloon Festival delights more than 15,000 visitors
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
It was not without irony that on Sunday afternoon, the third and final day of the 11th Annual Chester County Balloon Festival, several kites flew high above the New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon.
The winds that circulated around the three-day event were ideal for kite flying, but for the more than 15,000 visitors who came to see the balloons, the real stars of the show remained grounded for a portion of the weekend.
Yet, despite the wind – and the rain on Friday evening – the festival featured a spectacular balloon glow on Friday night, as well as flights on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and a fireworks show on Saturday night. In addition, visitors took rides on monster trucks and helicopters, zip-lined across the festival grounds, enjoyed a fire and EMT demonstration with several local fire companies, shopped at more than 100 food and craft vendors, and relaxed at the wine and beer garden.
“We were thrown some weather curveballs, but we handled it,” said festival director Deb Harding. “As we always do, the festival tries very hard to schedule so many other events and activities to entertain visitors. One of the most impressive displays was a tent dedicated to the history of ballooning that featured some of the most prominent local pilots in the area.”
Proceeds from the festival were given to the Chester County Hero Fund, which provides financial assistance to widows, children and families when a police officer, deputy sheriff, firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic or state trooper loses his or her life or is seriously injured in the line of duty.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected]